cover image A Study in Death

A Study in Death

Anna Lee Huber. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-27752-2

Set in Scotland in 1831, Huber’s lively fourth Lady Darby mystery (after 2014’s A Grave Matter) centers on the suspicious death of Lady Drummond, whose portrait Kiera (aka Lady Darby) was painting. Kiera is sure Lady Drummond was poisoned and sets out to prove it. Meanwhile, she’s still trying to live down the reputation she acquired, unfairly, as the result of her first husband’s misdeeds. She’s also worried about her sister, Alana, struggling at the end of a difficult fourth pregnancy. Kiera and inquiry agent Sebastian Gage, to whom she’s now engaged, do a little discreet investigating of the Drummonds only to run into opposition from Lord Gage, Sebastian’s iron-willed and secretive father. Kiera’s options are limited at a time when women were severely reined in both by law and custom, but she uses the resources she has with verve and vigor. Her tendency to think and rethink every conversation and gesture may annoy some readers, but this is a minor flaw. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (July)